New Jersey governor race tests Murphy’s progressive politics

TRENTON -- Paid sick leaves Community college funded by tax payers A gradual $15 minimum wage.

New Jersey governor race tests Murphy’s progressive politics

TRENTON -- Paid sick leaves Community college funded by tax payers A gradual $15 minimum wage.

Under the first Democratic governor, New Jersey took a very liberal turn. Phil Murphy increased income taxes for the wealthy, expanded voting rights, and tightened the state's gun laws. This is a marked departure from Chris Christie, the Republican who served two terms advocating more moderate policies.

On Nov. 2, Murphy's agenda will appear on the ballot. Voters will decide whether to elect Jack Ciattarelli or give him another term. Murphy's history is not necessarily favorable: New Jersey hasn’t reelected a Democrat governor in 40 years and hasn’t elected a governor of the same party as President in 30 years.

Murphy stated in an interview that "it's one the major, animating reasons we're running like 10 points behind." "We don't take anything for granted. History has shown that this year can be very unpredictable in politics.

Murphy has some significant advantages. He leads in public polls, has raised more money that Ciattarelli and New Jersey has 1,000,000 more registered Democratic voters than Republicans. He is also welcoming former President Barack Obama and President Joe Biden to New Jersey to promote his spending plan.

Although the race has national implications it has received less attention than Virginia’s highly-publicized governor's race. In a state where Biden beat Trump by almost 16 points last year, Murphy's loss would be shocking. This would raise questions about the possibility that Trump's former supporters, the moderate voters, are returning to the Republican Party.

New Jersey's left-leaning turn was years in the making. Since 1992, every presidential election in the state has been won by Democrats. Since Clifford Case's 1972 election, the state has not elected a Republican senator to the U.S. Senate. However, governor's races are always in the mix for the GOP. Two terms have been won by the last three Republicans to be elected governor.

Ciattarelli stated in an interview that "my focus is solely New Jersey." "To win as Republican, you have to focus on what's bothering New Jerseyans, and that's exactly how I've done the past 22 months."

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